Thursday, 31 October 2013

Red Breasted Nuthatch, Chickadee, Coopers Hawk (20131031) Sunday walk today.

As I may not be out this weekend, I decided to attend the weekly walk this morning. The conditions were less than ideal with a brisk 30 kph wind so creatures were not cooperative. But the smaller birds were still around, like this female Downey woodpecker.
As it is Halloween I thought I better rhow in the shot of the "scary" character for these small birds a Cooper Hawk. Sorry for the poor quality, but an evidence shot.
As we headed back we were able to find some Chickadees with some great light.
There were also a couple of Red Breasted Nuthatches. It is nice to catch them in the trees.
Ijust love Canada's bird, and the conditions today made taking shots easy.
Here is a pair of shots of a Red Breasted first selecting a seed, weighing it,
And then deciding that it is too light, and discards it.
This was pretty much our excitement for the day, it was a super day for a walk.  Have a super wildlife Halloween:)

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Mallards, Bucks (20131030) Outing with Ignacio

Dental surgery had me out of the game yesterday, so I reached out to Ignacio to see what he had in mind for hte afternoon. We decided to visit a portion of Fish Creek to see if we could find a Buck or two.
We managed to find a Muskrat for a quick shot.
Then up at the other end of the pond were a two pair of Mallards. I queezed off a couple of quick "rounds".
We found some Whitetail Does, then a Muley Doe with a broken hind leg, and just around the corner was this young Muley Buck.
While we were continuingwe found a Muley Doe with her two fawns of this year. We also found this little 8-point Whitretail buck, he was pretty skittish and didn't give us much of a chance for shots.
We realized we were in position to approach the Muley buck we found earlier in the evening from behind, and thought we would see if we could find him.
And we did :)
Look me up when you are in Calgary and we can hit a trail or two.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Sheep, deer, elk (20131029) A quick evening cruise.

With the first snow of the year on Saturday night and through Sunday, I thought Monday would be a great day in the woods, especially with some nice sun. I was tied up most the day with meetings and didn't manage to head out until just after 4:00 p.m. It was a beautiful day travelling due west. A Rough Legged was my first spot, then a couple of Bull elk, too far up on a back hill to take photos of. Then I spotted a pair of Bighorn's, believe it or not, they were on a Mountain:)
He turned to look straight on, a very nice ram. Although "tagged" these are wild sheep that are being studied for their range and feeding behaviours.
There were a quite a number of Whitetails out and feeding, but I couldn't find any bucks.
This is a very healthy looking fawn from this year.
I spied these members of a much larger herd on the way in the road, I couldn't see any Bulls present.
On the drive out the road, finally with the sun behind I found the elk herd once again, but they were in a heavily shaded area. They were obviously headed down the hillside for an evening graze, Bull found!
The balance of the trip was uneventful, I believe due to a noisy road situation where there was ice and snow on the road and make for quite a racket as you travelled it. An hour out of the door and able to find wildlife like this, Calgary is the place to do a Track!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Wild Horses, GGO (20131026) Part 2

After having picked Ignacio up at 7:05 this morning, and Jamie at 7:30, we were off to find some Wild horses. This is  long trip that requires we cover a lot of ground. and we had a busy morning getting into the right territory. After spotting and grabbing images of our first Wild Horse of the trip, we still had ground to cover and things were looking a little dry. We found this herd of 10 animals and tried to get a little closer for some shots.
This is a herd I have found many times before. This unit here is one of my favourites.
As we made our way back to the truck we were greeted by this little Mule deer Doe.
We had our third Wild Horse encounter on the way  home, on a different route. This group of 6 horses looked to be quite comfortable. We had the wind in our favour so we were able to derive an approach plan that put us within 65-70 yrads of these feral giants.
A very successful day tht completed a little redemption for me with Ignacio. On our way home we always stayed in environments that held possibilities for more sightings. We were rewarded with a second GGO, with what Ignacio described as "perfect light!".
This fine looking bird was really quite approachable and allowed all of us to get some great shots. I am afraid that I am being seduced by these birds more and more, I may turn into Jamie:)
We headed over to find a "rumoured" Barred Owl location. We had no luck finding that bird but we were visited by a number of Whiskey Jacks and this male Downey.
I finish this post of with a little "action shot", one of six Whitetails that we spotted crossing the road. This was the only deer that  jumped the fence, all the others went through/under the barbed wire.
This capped off our day nicely. We would have liked to find a couple of Muley bucks in a pretty dependable area but none were available when we travelled through. I feel good about finally finding some quality materials for my guests.  Come on out to Calgary and let me find some quality material for you as well!

Moose, Spruce Grouse, Wild Horse (20131026) Productivity for Ignacio at last!

Twice this past week I have taken Ignacio out for a cruise, as much to show him the area as to provide him with some opportunities to grab some Buck shots.  While we have seen a couple of deer the opportunities for decent Buck shots have been minimal. So today was a chance at redemption as we headed out for Wild Horses.  We started the morning out with some Buffalo, we had spotted a couple of moose as well, but they were too far off in the distance to get a good shot.
We had just nicely got back on the road and were eyeing up some deer to determine if there were any Bucks when we spotted a moose and as I was slowing down we found this youngster up cose to the road.
his was a very cooperative subject as he seemed very relaxed with our presence and our clicking cameras.
We obviously weren't creating any stress for this youngster as he just kept eating:)
We probably spent over 20 minutes with this juvenile, and kept an eye for an opportunity to grab a shot of momma, as she was apparently trying to work her way closer to this spring's calf.  Just up the road a bit we had a Male Spruce grouse out on the road picking up gravel. He was nice enough to "pop up" in a nearby tree.
He too became very compfortable with our presence as he began to feed as well while our camera clicking seemed to be more of a comfort to him than a distraction.
And then to provide us with "a new look" he popped into another nearby tree and gave us the chance to show you a different view.
That was just a great experiencewith another 15 minutes consumed. Cruising thorough one of my high percentage GGO area's Jamie spotted a "bird" on the tree line. This is the first North American GGO for Ignacio. We spent 10 minutes with this beatiful bird before heading off for horses. Here is a shot of Ignacio and Jamie capturing their images.
We had some ground still to cover before we would have a chance of finding horses so we got back on the road. Just over an hour later we found this beauty all by itself, next to the road.
Here it is as it climbed a sharp hillside, working all four legs a great view.
I'll wrap this post up here, and post a second group of photos that will cover the balance of the day!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

A Sunday morning Buck cruise (20131019) Mule Bucks

I thought that I would take a close to home cruise this morning. Monday I have committed to Ignacio that I will find him some Bucks, so an emergency reconiasssance run was in order. I was a couple of minutes behind schedule getting out of the house, but that's the way it goes. On one of my main side roads I found this flock of gathering Starlings.
All the deer I found this morning seemed to be very wary. It is unsual for Mule deer to run when a vehicle is still 1/2 mile away. I expect it may have something to do with the near full moon last night. On one of my most productive roads I found this nice looking Muley buck.
You always need to be watchful and patient when observing these guys, quite often there is more than one, and if you wait, you might find several of these big fella's.
At another of my favourite spots I was able to find just three bucks. The numbers really seem to be down this year. If you look close you can see that the larger bucks have started to have their necks swell in preparation for the upcoming rut.
I also found a couple of Roughlegged Hawks this morning. This fellow was being harrassed by Magpies.
Here is a wing shot of the same bird.
I little disappointing from a Buck perspective, but a super nice morning that probably counted up 30-40 deer, 3-5 Roughlegged's, a Kestrel that I didn't mange to get a shot of, and the geese are rounding up for their flight south.

GHO, Mule Deer, Elk. (20131019) A little trip to the west.

Jamie and I decided that we should take a little "boo" out to the area my brother and I visited about this time last year. We were out early and had high expectations, grabbed a couple of images of the all night hunter.
These night hunters can be pretty tough to find in the daylight, and even when you do they tend to be skittish birds.  Up the road we kind of had a "break loose" couple of minutes.  We found a large herd of elk on the hillside, along with a group of Sheep and a Rough legged hawk.
Further along we found a small band of Mule deer, it looked like 2 bucks, one dominant and one smaller one, and several Does. I was able to get pretty close to a Doe and her fawn.
And a second shot that I thought was a nice portrait.
Up the road we found this Rough Legged Hawk.
We spotted  several small groups of Whitetail's, one was a small bachelor herd, with a dominant animal that looked alot like the Buck that Len and I had seen in the same area last year. Here is a link to that post containing that image.
The rest of the morning was pretty uneventful. I'll wrap this post up here, drop off in Calgary and we can do a track together.
Updated with a Shot from Jamie of me getting shots of the Mule deer

Friday, 18 October 2013

Wood Peckers (20131018) Out to ASCCA

Like the last time I wasn't working I have hooked up with Bruno for walks at the Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area. We got out twice this week for 10 km trail steward patrols. The conditions have been excellent cool crisp mornings, we start out below 0C and finish up at about 10C.
Here is a series of shots from our Tuesday outing. We found this Muley Buck with a couple of Does that he has rounded up for the upcoming rut.
We also found this little Lincoln's Sparrow that is probably enroute to the south. Sorry for the poor image.
Here is a Calgary Skyline shot taken from the parking lot of the Conservancy.

Here are some shots from today's outing. While we found a few more deer this morning, we didn't  get alot of other action. While we were sitting at the top of the Pine Creek trail having a drink we spotted two separate coyote's. I grabbed this image, not very a very good shot, but evidence. Bruno had just stated that he had never found anything up in those fields :)
When we got back to Belvedere House I grabbed these shots of a Downey Woodpecker. This guy had just dug this little grub out of the small tree.
We spotted a second Woody on the walk down to the truck. It is amzaing how they are able to find enough to eat in these small trees.
A couple of great outings, just a little light on photo material, it is a great facilty right here next to Calgary. Drop by, I can take you for a tour.